The Griffith University Mace
Ceremonial maces are used at many universities throughout the world. The Griffith University Mace has been used as part of official events including the awarding of degrees and other awards presented to students and staff. The original Griffith University Mace, completed in 1979, is made from Queensland Beech timber and includes the University's colours of the time which were cornflower blue and red. The head of the mace consists of five figures in academic garb, which represents the Griffith community of scholars. The five figures hold three objects - the globe/spheres which indicates the universal search for knowledge; the abacus which represents orderly and measured methods of discovery; and the open book representing a critical interest in cultures and recorded knowledge, and the responsibility to publish opinion and discovery. Beneath the five figures are representations of lions. Lions were a feature of Sir Samuel Griffith's Banner, and this resulted in much of the University's original branding including the early Griffith University crest, depicting lions.
In 2005, the University's former Chancellor, Leneen Forde, commissioned a more contemporary Griffith University Mace to be made. The components of the new mace marked a movement away from the traditional style and elements of the original mace. The new mace features a silver goanna (Australian native lizard), which represents Griffith University's connection with the environment. The goanna is climbing a stainless steel perforated staff which represents industry and technology. A leaf pattern adorns the stainless steel representing indigenous flora.
The head of the modern mace is a carved timber pod with silver bands representing the leaves of a book - the traditional symbol of learning. Above and below the timber are bands of silver - the lower one representing the various campuses (five in total) of the University and the upper band bearing the name Griffith University. The top of the head is a red enameled disc bearing the University emblem that also came into place in 2005. A silver and red cord with the two tassels is attached to the mace, representing academic ceremony.
For more on the modern day Mace, visit Details of the Mace we are making for Griffith University which discusses the artists and designers involved in the development of the object.